47. Births, Weddings and Deaths

The Birth of Anne Elizabeth Evans

On 5 September 1950, Roy and Kath Evans had a baby daughter, Anne Elizabeth. As Roy’s mother (Eva) was grandad’s sister, mum and Anne Elizabeth (and her sister Lynne) were first cousins once removed. Two days after Anne was born, mum went to visit. Various visits followed. For example, mum noted that she went to Anne’s first birthday party in September 1951. Grandad noted that the Evans family came for tea in January 1952 and that Carole, Lynne and Anne came for the day in July 1953 (see photo).

Lynne, Anne and Carole in the garden at 96 Welbeck Street in 1953


Freda Davey and Eric Chambers

In April 1950, mum noted that they had been due to go to Freda’s wedding in Doncaster but Ray’s car broke down so they were not able to go. Freda Davey was the granddaughter of Samuel Cirket, who was the brother of Charles Cirket, grandma’s father. This made Freda and mum second cousins. Freda married Eric Chambers and she and mum corresponded for many years including in the 1990s over respective family trees.

Ken Hodges and Pearl Marshall

In August 1951, friends from chapel, Ken Hodges and Pearl Marshall got married. The service took place at the chapel with the reception at the Miners’ Welfare. Mum went and noted that she had a nice time but that it had not been as nice as Pearl’s 21st birthday party. This had taken place in November 1950. In defiance of superstition, Pearl’s bridesmaids wore green. I vaguely recall mum saying something about this in 2016 when our daughter married and her bridesmaids wore green.  The local newspaper report of the wedding picked up this theme. According to the newspaper article, Pearl was secretary of the youth club and Ken was church organist. He also worked as a teacher at Kingsway Boys’ Secondary Modern School. Mum noted that Ken became choirmaster in January 1952 only to resign as both organist and choirmaster in May 1952.

Wedding of Ken Hodges and Pearl Marshall. This photograph was annotated to say that her bridesmaids wore green and she was told it was unlucky
Newspaper article of Pearl and Ken’s wedding

Kenneth Cirket and Pauline Knibbs

In April 1953, Kenneth Cirket got married in Bedford, to Pauline Knibbs. Grandma, mum and Marilyn attended. Grandad didn’t but he did note that they gave Kenneth a cheque for three guineas. Mum had visited them previously, in April 1950, and Kenneth had taken them to the station with mum commenting that he was a very good driver.  Over the years, mum kept in touch with Pauline Cirket, including through regular Christmas cards.

Kenneth Cirket’s wedding – Ray, Winnie, mum and Marilyn are at the extreme left


Olive Smith – Grandad’s Sister

In September 1952, grandad’s sister Olive died aged 68. Edith Searson’s book(let) “I Remember” (p58) mentions her death. Olive had been Bourne’s Missionary Secretary and Edith Searson took on this responsibility when she died. She had been unwell on and off for some months and both diaries for this period referred to this. In August 1952, she was ill in bed and mum noted lending her a portable radio. But, on the 16th, she was admitted to Nottingham General Hospital (see Chapter 65). On 1 September 1952, she had surgery but died at 7.15pm. Her funeral was held on 5 September with a memorial service on the 7th. Arthur and Ella Lofthouse, who had been friends of Olive’s, attended. Following her death, in January 1953, her husband donated their piano to the chapel. In June 1953, grandad noted going to see Olive’s gravestone at the cemetery.

Flowers at Olive’s grave
Order of service for Olive’s funeral
Notice of Olive’s death in local paper
Olive Smith, grandad’s sister, taken on the Whit walk in May 1951

Mrs Heath

In November 1951, Renie’s mother, Mrs Heath, died and grandma attended the funeral.

Wilf Chappell

In June 1952, grandad noted that Wilf Chappell died whilst talking to Gertie. Wilf was born on 7 March 1902 and, in 1939, was working as a colliery shunter above ground. He married Gertrude Bollans in 1934.

Frank Newcombe

Also, in June 1952, grandad noted that “Frank Newcombe strangled himself in bed”. He was the younger brother of Phil Newcombe. He was born in 1886 and worked as a joiner. In 1933, he installed a set of stairs in grandad’s shop (see Chapter 13).

Dr McCombie

In September 1952, Dr McCombie died, aged 62. According to the book “Kirkby & District from Old Photographs” p38, he was doctor in Kirkby for many years and lived on Diamond Avenue.

I am grateful to Helen Jay for this photo of her mother with Dr McCombie. They played golf together.

Harry Booth

In August 1953, Harry Booth died in the acre (Kingsway Park) aged 76. According to the 1939 Register, he was a colliery deputy below ground.

Mrs Scothern

In September 1953, mum noted that Mrs Scothern died. This appears to have been the mother of mum’s friend Brenda Scothern. Initially, I could find no record of her death online but I found details of a Cissie Scothern, aged 46, who died at the time and place specified. Mum attended her funeral and had a picture of her grave in one of her photo albums.

Mrs Scothern’s grave

Jean Kirk

In January 1954, one of the girls ,who attended Sunday School at Bourne chapel, Jean Kirk, died aged 13 from what mum described as “a germ in the blood”.  The funeral was held in early February at Bourne. Mum attended and noted that it had been very nice. Mum had a newspaper cutting among her papers which gave details of Jean’s funeral. This noted that she had attended the Girls’ Grammar School in Sutton and that she had been a talented pianist. The service was led by Rev Howells, the minister at Bourne. The article consisted of mainly a long list of people who had sent flowers including teachers and scholars of Bourne Methodist Sunday School.

Newspaper article concerning Jean Kirk’s funeral

Mr Bust

In April 1954, mum noted that Mr Bust of 80 Lindleys Lane died at 4.15pm. His memorial services was held at Bourne chapel on 9 May 1954. From Free BMD, it appears that this was Sylvester F Bust, aged 73. Presumably, he was a relative of Tom (and Edna) Bust. It may be that he was the F Bust who was involved in laying lino at Welbeck Street in 1951, as recorded by grandad.

Mr J Wilkinson

In June 1954, grandad noted that J Wilkinson of Unity Street had died aged 76. I have not as yet found details of him.

Notes on Grandad’s Father – Henry Parkin

Little Mention after Around 1930

Grandad’s mother, Sarah Parkin, died in January 1930. There is little mention of grandad’s father, Henry Parkin after that. It is a little difficult to determine when the last reference was as grandad also referred to grandma’s father as “dad”. However, the last reference appears to be in February 1932 when grandad noted that “dad had bronc”.

A News Article from 1952

I am not sure why there were no further references but it does appear that grandad and his father were estranged. I mention it here as there was a Free Press cutting among mum’s papers which dates from October 1952. According to the article, Henry Parkin was alive, aged 91, and living in Church Street, Kirkby-in-Ashfield. He had remarried a woman 41 years his junior! The article described her as “his 50-year old Viennese wife – now a naturalised British subject.” The newspaper article outlined that Henry Parkin was in trouble with the council for failing to carry out repairs to three properties that he owned. According to the article, it appears that Henry Parkin owned 18 properties in total.

News cutting from 1952 related to difficulties Henry Parkin was facing in repairing properties he owned

His Death in 1957

I also found another short newspaper article among mum’s papers dated 1 March 1957. This relates to Henry Parkin’s death (see Chapter 65) and is annotated to show that he died on 20 February 1957. At the time of his death, he was Kirkby’s oldest resident. It gives some details of his life and death. He was buried at the Old Cemetery in Kirkby-in-Ashfield following a short service at St Wilfrid’s Church. Although the article described him as “an ardent Methodist”, it is interesting that the funeral service was not in a Methodist chapel or church. He was living in Kirkby at the time of his death although he had moved away to Nottingham for around six years.

News cutting concerning Henry Parkin’s death in 1957

An Account of Buying a House from Henry Parkin’s Widow

From the Kirkby Living Memory Facebook group, I heard from Lesley Hall that they bought their house, at 43 The Hill, from the estate of a Mrs Parkin in 1988. This is one of the houses mentioned in the 1952 court case. Lesley described Mrs Parkin as Austrian and a former nurse. She also mentioned that she dealt with relatives of Mrs Parkin in Austria, a great nephew and niece.

Initially, I thought this was Henry Parkin’s second wife as Lesley knew that her husband had built houses in Blidworth Road. She also mentioned that Henry and this wife had a daughter. From FreeBMD, I have found that a Henry Parkin married a Josefa J A Schreiber (see box) in Nottingham in Q2 1946 and I believe this might be her. According to the news cutting of Henry’s death, he lived in Nottingham for some years. I have not been able to find any detail of them having a child together. If this information is right, he would have been 85 when he re-married and she would have been 44. Perhaps the child was from an earlier marriage? However, I have not found any evidence of this.

I also found out that her full name was Josefa Julie Ann Schreiber and she had been born on 19 January 1902. According to the 1939 Register, she was working in Belper as a domestic servant for Oliver Bernard and Gladys Stanion. She died in 1988.

Did Henry Parkin Have Other Wives?

Gertrude May Whyle (or Whiles)

So, it does seem that grandad’s father remarried in later life. However, I also found evidence of two other wives between when grandad’s mother, Sarah, died in 1930 and when Henry married Josefa Schreiber in 1946. A Henry Parkin also married Gertrude May Whyle (see box) in December 1930, just under a year after grandad’s mother died. In 1931, they were living together in Blidworth Road which perhaps implies that this was grandad’s father given that we know he built houses there. Gertrude herself died in December 1931 aged 37.

Kate E Clough

It appears that Henry then married Kate E Clough in 1932 as, in 1939, they were living at 9a Church Street in Kirkby. His occupation was recorded as builder reconstructions. She had been born in 1883 and died in 1945 in Nottingham and this would tie in with him then marrying Josefa Schreiber the following year. So, if this research is correct, it seems that Josefa was Henry’s fourth wife.

I could not find details of the birth of a Gertrude Whyle but I did find details of a Gertrude May Whiles born in Basford in 1894. I suspect this was her. Her mother’s maiden name was Powell.

Court Cases Involving Henry Parkin

I also found details of some other court cases involving Henry Parkin including cuttings from 1910 from the Nottingham Evening Post (see box note 1) and the Nottingham Journal (see box note 2).

[1] The Nottingham Evening Post is a local newspaper that was established in 1878 and continues today as the Nottingham Post which is published online as NottinghamshireLive.  

[2] The Nottingham Journal was a local newspaper that first used the name in 1787. In 1953, it merged with the Nottingham Guardian to form the Guardian Journal which continued until 1973. 

[3] The Mansfield Reporter and Sutton Times was a local paper that was produced from at least 1858 to at least 1937. The Our Mansfield and Area website has an article about the strength of local newspapers in Mansfield and Sutton.

[4] The Derby Daily Telegraph was Established in 1879, this was the forerunner of the Derby Telegraph which is still published.

A Dispute with Henry Goadby

In June 1910, there was a dispute in which he and Henry Goadby, a furniture dealer, accused each other of assault. The relevant cuttings are from 11 June, 30 June and 6 July 1910. It seems that Henry Goadby was renting a shop in Lowmoor Road from Henry Parkin. As part of that business, he sold bikes. He sold one to Henry Parkin’s son although the cutting does not identify which one. The son could not keep up repayments and a dispute arose including over whether Henry Goadby could display goods in the entrance to the shop. This resulted in one or more scuffles in which Henry Goadby sustained some injuries to his legs.

Henry Parkin lost the case and had to pay £15 on the claim of £47 18 0. However, this was followed by a perjury case against Henry Goadby who was committed for trial. The trial took place on 6 July 1910.[6] Henry Goadby was found not guilty and was discharged (see box).

The news cutting is a bit confusing as it relates to blows between Henry Goadby and James Henry Parkin, who was grandad’s brother. Perhaps he was the son who had bought the bicycle? I don’t think it could have been his son, Gordon, as he was only born in 1907. However, that article incorrectly refers to the shop being in Longmoor Road when the road’s correct name was Lowmoor.

Court Action Against a Tenant – George Musgrove

In 1922, according to the Mansfield Reporter and Sutton Times (see earlier box note 3), Henry Parkin took court action against miner and tenant George Musgrove for non-payment of rent.

Another Court Case by the Council

In 1931, Henry Parkin was taken to court by Kirkby Urban District Council (KUDC) to reclaim £50 housing subsidy which had been paid to him for four houses in Blidworth Road.

A Case of Corruption

In 1937, there was a corruption case against him for having enclosed a ten shilling note in a letter to a sanitary inspector (see box). He was convicted and fined £10 plus costs. Henry Parkin tried to explain away the inclusion of the money saying, “ I put the money in with a good heart. I had no idea I was doing anything that was out of order. I thought they could distribute the money and have a drink and a smoke amongst them . If they had had the grace to ask me about it, I could have explained. Instead of that. they have put me to all this trouble over nothing.”

Interestingly, Henry Parkin mentioned in his evidence that his wife had posted the letter meaning that he must have been married at this point. If my research is correct, his wife at this point was Kate Parkin.

A Case of Theft

Perhaps the most striking case I came across was in 1906 when three children, Abraham Penfold, aged 9, William Penfold, aged 12 and Lillian Penfold, aged 13, stole a pair of boots from Henry Parkin’s shop. The three children were convicted. Two were remanded with a view to being sent to a reformatory. One, William aged 12, was sentenced to go to prison for one day and to receive six strokes with a birch rod.

Grandad Attends Court in Derby

On 16 December 1931, grandad noted that he went to Derby County Court. Initially, I did not know why but wondered if it might relate to a motoring offence as it was around the time he sold his motorbike (see Chapter 18).

A Family Dispute

This was not the case. I found a report of the case in an extract from the Derby Daily Telegraph (see earlier box note 4). Essentially, the court case had been brought by grandad’s father, Henry Parkin, against grandad’s brother-in-law Arthur Evans. Henry was claiming £256 from Arthur relating to starting his lorry hauling business.

News article concerning the court case that grandad attended in Derby in December 1931 – Image Source: Find My Past

Intricate Financial Arrangements with No Receipts

Apparently, in 1921, Henry was approached by his son, James Henry Parkin, and his two sons-in-law, John Smith and Arthur Evans requesting a loan of £1,000 to start a business. A lorry was bought and a garage was built. James, John and Arthur agreed to pay Henry rental of five shillings per week. But, disagreements arose. James emigrated to Canada (see Chapter 1) and further financial arrangements of a “somewhat intricate” nature were made for which there were no receipts.

Henry Accuses Arthur and Other Family Members

In court, Henry accused Arthur of giving him a black eye. He also accused his children of trying to “do” him out of £3,000. Henry claimed that if it had not been for him they would have still been working in a coal mine. He denied that the family money troubles came after his second marriage a year ago (see box). He also claimed that he had been “knocked about” by his family and there had been police court proceedings. In response, Arthur said that, after James had gone to Canada, he took over paying the loan at a rate of ten shillings per week. The article then ends with a note that the case was proceeding. I have not been able to find subsequent details.

This mention of a second marriage would seem to confirm the research above that Henry Parkin married Gertrude May Whyle in December 1930, just under a year after grandad’s mother died.

A Falling Out

While grandad was not named in this court case, it does seem that there had been a falling out between Henry Parkin and his children and that this included grandad. Grandad did not mention Henry much in his diary after his mother’s death in 1930 and he also did not appear to attend his funeral (see Chapter 65). It seems that grandad and his father were estranged.